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Potential ASU AD candidate is currently in The Valley



Arizona State football crowd, the Sun Devils are still looking for a successful new AD candidate.
H/T Anthony Chiu of Sun Devil Daily

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State still has not hired a new Athletic Departure following the departure of Ray Anderson. However, one potential candidate was in town this weekend, as his school was competing in the Final Four.

ASU AD candidate in town for Final Four

David Benedict is currently the Athletic Director for UConn. The Huskies had a perfect weekend, tallying two double-digit wins in the Final Four. Last night in Glendale finished with their team cutting the nets down, led by Dan Hurley, brother of ASU basketball coach Bobby Hurley.

Benedict has been highly successful as an AD, and UConn basketball winning back-to-back national championships is a product of that. So why would he come to Arizona State?

For starters, Benedict is from Tempe. His wife, the former Lisa Zeis, is an Arizona State gymnastics legend. Lisa was a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion at ASU.

Benedict has also spent 10 years working in ASU’s athletic department from 1996-2006. One of his roles was as an Associate Athletic Director for Development at ASU and was credited with streamlining all areas of external relations. His double-digit years in Tempe are longer than any of his other professional stints.

The Tempe native has been incredibly successful at multiple different schools. Before UConn, Benedict served as the Chief Operating Officer for the athletics department at Auburn University for two years. Benedict is a highly experienced athletic administrator who served as the Deputy Athletic Director at Minnesota (2012-14) and in leadership positions at Virginia Commonwealth (2010-12), and Long Beach State (2007-10).

Benedict at Auburn

Benedict only spent two years with the Tigers, but it was memorable. UConn’s official site writes the following about Benedict’s tenure in Auburn.

“Benedict directed all the day-to-day operations of the Auburn athletic department, with particular emphasis on operational planning, resource allocation, budget development and strong financial management. He led the department in developing strategic long-range plans for a $120-plus million budget, facilities, staffing and accomplishing strategic goals.

He coordinated a five-year strategic plan for Auburn athletics, which featured initiatives for strategic priorities and goals. Benedict directed a team of staff members and coaches in creating a facility master plan and the initiation of a game-day master plan.

Benedict led a feasibility study to make renovations to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium that initiated a $150-$180 million project. He negotiated a unique nine-year extension with an athletic footwear and equipment provider that included both product, cash and $10 million worth of stock.”

If Michael Crow and Arizona State can bring Benedict home it would without a doubt be a home run hire. After the National Championship victory last night for the Huskies, Dan Hurley was quick to credit UConn’s administration.

“UConn is a special place this time of year,” Hurley said. “And they give us all the resources we need to do it like this in March and April.”



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Brendon Pricco attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. He's the managing editor for Sun Devil Daily. Brendon also is a contributor to Spartan Shadows and Gator Digest.